Coronavirus and throat cancer – looking after your mental health

It can be difficult for those living with throat cancer to remain positive while there is uncertainty surrounding coronavirus.

Whether it’s conflicting media reports, ever changing medical advice or simply concerns over what impact COVID-19 could have on loved ones, this may also be taking its toll on your mental health.

Being concerned about the news is understandable but it’s important that you take measures to protect your mental health too.

Here are some of the things you can do to protect your mental health during this time.


Take a break from the news


The World Health Organisation has provided a number of recommendations for those dealing with stress during the coronavirus outbreak. One of the key things they have mentioned is to avoid watching, reading or listening to news that could make you feel anxious or distressed.


Seek information to take practical steps to prepare your plans and protect yourself and loved ones


It’s important to follow the advice given to you by your medical practitioner if you are living with throat cancer or have had throat cancer treatment during the coronavirus outbreak.

Being prepared can help you to feel more in control and calm about the current situation. There is a lot of misinformation swirling around – stay informed by sticking to trusted sources such as government and NHS websites.


Take up a new hobby to keep your mind occupied


Self-isolating is bound to make some people feel lonely or depressed during this difficult time. Taking up a hobby such as painting, writing, arts and crafts, playing an instrument or another passion can help people with cancer keep their minds occupied and take their minds off the current situation, while promoting good mental wellbeing.


Stay connected with people


If you are self isolating and unable to visit or receive visits from loved ones, find other ways to stay in touch. Arrange regular phone calls, video chats, skype calls and other methods of contact so that you have someone to turn to when you are feeling anxious about the current situation.

Agree regular check-in times so that you can still feel connected to the people around you. Make sure you have up to date contact details for all the people you wish to contact.


Try light exercise and stay hydrated


If possible, try some light exercise such as walking, yoga, or a stroll in the garden. Exercise is an important factor for your mental health.


Do something productive


Try to turn this time into a positive by doing something productive with the time you have. Finish off that To-Do list, clean the house, learn to cook something new, read that book you’ve always wanted to finish, or study a foreign language. Even knitting while watching the TV can make you feel like you are doing something productive.


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The Throat Cancer Foundation is a registered charity, and as such, your help is vital to us. Your support and generosity will enable us to reach out to all those touched by throat cancers and enable us to be a Voice for Hope.
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